Missing boatie's launch to be examined

A launch belonging to missing Marlborough boatie Kerry Blair has been towed to New Plymouth where it will be examined for clues about his disappearance.

The 55-year-old was last seen 11 days ago when he launched his nine-metre aluminium boat Erie in the Marlborough Sounds.

The commercial fisherman gave no indication of where he was going when he left on the afternoon of March 8.

On Friday evening his boat was found 200km off the Taranaki coastline.

The Navy vessel HMNZS Wellington recovered it yesterday and towed it to New Plymouth, a police spokeswoman said.

The Erie will be taken out of the water today and would undergo an examination to try to uncover any clues as to what has happened to Mr Blair, she said.

Police said there was no immediate indication of what happened to him.

Mr Blair's brother Peter said yesterday while some members of the family were clinging to hope that he would still be found alive, he said he had personally "sort of accepted Kerry has gone".

"There was a glimmer of hope that he might have been alive, but not to have been aboard was pretty destroying," he told APNZ.

The news came as a thunderbolt.

"I was pretty upset. It's my brother," Peter Blair said.

Mr Blair said the family hoped a forensic examination of the boat would answer all of the questions that they had into the unexplained disappearance.


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